Level 3 Expands Channel Access to Accounts

Level 3 Communications (LVLT) has announced an enhanced Business Partner Program that will include a more partner-friendly channel integration policy. It’s expected to open more customer accounts to partners.

“Ink rules,” said Craig Schlagbaum, vice president of Level 3’s Indirect Channel Program, speaking to PHONE+ during the Channel Partners Conference & Expo this week in Boston about the changes to the program. This policy, which means accounts not on a protected accounts list now will be awarded to the indirect or direct sales rep that gets the signed contract, has been extended to Wholesale Markets and Content Markets, which previously were only accessible to agents on a permission basis.

Schlagbaum said sales success demonstrated by Level 3’s partners on these on-off deals prompted the company to open the field. In addition, there is a numbers issue. With fewer than 500 direct sales reps, the company needs more feet on the street to address these markets. The goal, he said, is incremental growth, not share shifting.

The Content Markets includes ISPs and Web 2.0 companies, he said.

The Wholesale Markets groups, which includes federal government, systems integrators, service providers (telcos and cablecos), also will be opened to partners, but on slightly different terms. Schlagbaum explained accounts where the company doesn’t already have significant billing will be open to partners to work on a teaming basis with the direct sales force.

In addition, Level 3 has increased commissions on services sold to these markets to be in line with rates in the Business Markets group. One exception is wholesale voice.

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